Fans ranged from excited about Rurouni Kenshin’s return to disgusted by it. What happened during that time that changed people’s minds?
The following section contains sensitive content, including discussion of pedophilia.
In September 2017, fans of the samurai manga Rurouni Kenshin were excited to see manga-ka Nobuhiro Watsuki, who also wrote Buso Renkin and Embalming -The Another Tale of Frankenstein-, return to the original success story. his beginning with The Hokkaido Arc. Three months later, the publication of the series was suspended. When The Hokkaido Arc resumed publication in June 2018, many of those fans were disgusted that the series continued.
What happened during that time that changed people’s minds? In November 2017, Watsuki was arrested for possessing child pornography DVDs. He pleaded guilty and confessed to being a pedophile who was attracted to girls in elementary and middle school.
Manga-ka Nobuhiro Watsuki is in jail?
Such a heinous crime somehow leads to almost no consequences. His legal penalty is a fine of just 200,000 yen, or $1,780. Watsuki was only suspended for half a year before he returned to work at Shueisha, the publishing company behind the Shonen Jump magazine line, and wrote The Hokkaido Arc as usual. The fact that he got away with a very minor offense for actual child exploitation and abuse when the Japanese legal system punishes non-violent drug offenses much more severely has caused outrage.
However, Shueisha continued her business as usual, publishing and promoting Kenshin as if nothing had happened. Jump Square’s editorial department stated, “The author spends his day reflecting and regretting, and thinks that it is our duty as publishers and as authors to find a way to We respond to different opinions through our work.” received.” Kenshin and Shishio are playable in the Jump Force video game, two other live-action Rurouni Kenshins have been announced, and Kenshin continues to be sold and heavily advertised throughout Japan.
Viz Media, the American publisher of Shonen Jump, split the difference between keeping Kenshin and canceling it outright. The original manga is still in print and is available through the Shonen Jump website and app. However, Viz stopped translating The Hokkaido Arc after Watsuki was arrested and decided not to continue translating as the series continued in Japan.
The need for Rurouni Kenshin is greater than Shueisha’s moral understanding
If Watsuki were only judged by his work, he would probably be the last manga-ka to be suspected of such a crime. Rurouni Kenshin is a deeply moral series about atone for one’s sins and without even the slightest hint of inappropriate sexuality found in many other respected manga series. To make matters worse, Watsuki is a mentor character at Shonen Jump thanks to Kenshin’s success, and it seems he has maintained that position even while committing crimes. One Piece’s Eiichiro Oda and Shaman King’s Hiroyuki Takei are two of the most popular artists trained by Watsuki, and they still seem to consider him friends. Oda even interviewed Watsuki for the planned Rurouni Kenshin exhibition in Japan.
To some extent, Shueisha’s desire to keep Rurouni Kenshin in the public eye is understandable, as this is a series that means a lot to many people. However, that meaning was poisoned by the actions of its creator. If fans can read their old comic volumes and separate the art from the artist enough to still enjoy them, then they’ll have more power. However, they may not want to continue spending money on the series, knowing the types of material that Watsuki has spent his money on.
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